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ECS Members' Notice Board

This page shows information on the music to be performed at the next and subsequent concerts and choir news past, present and future.

You can discover how to contact, and who are, your section representatives and members of the ECS committee on the Reps & Officers' page

You can find the ECS diary showing the programme of rehearsals and events scheduled for this term and, as far as is planned in the future in the Members' Diary

A group of Eltham Choral Society     
sopranos during a sectional rehearsal

Click for the latest news bulletin circulated to members

or the previous one can be found here.

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ELTHAM CHORAL SOCIETY 2018/19 Music Notes for Proposed Concerts

....... Upcoming concerts with known programming giving details on works, scores, rehearsal files etc....

Saturday 30th March 2019, Holy Trinity Church

Easter Concert

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Missa brevis in D major, KV 194

Franz Joseph Haydn: Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis De Deo (Little Organ Mass)

Saturday 13th July 2019, Holy Trinity Church

Summer Concert

Folksongs from the British Isles (details to follow)

Check here for the Society's
code of conduct and protocol
for concert performances.


Discount for ECS members at ChoraLine

A 10% discount for ECS members is now available at ChoraLine on rehearsal CDs and MP3 downloads and vocal scores. All items can be purchased on the website or over the phone. When ordering online, members just need to enter ELTHAM into the discount code box and click the green arrows on the shopping basket page of the website in order automatically to receive a discount and see the amount saved.

For example this reduces the cost of a ChoraLine rehearsal CD to £10.79. This is obviously more expensive than the free downloads available, but the quality and ease of use of the Choraline cannot be faulted. MP3 downloads of the CDs are slightly cheaper.

ChoraLine also stocks a range of vocal scores, choir folders, unique singing sets, and other items of interest to choral singers all of which will receive the 10% saving by using the discount code. They are also happy to take orders over the phone (0845 304 5070) and still give the 10% saving.


ECS News

....... Latest News for members of ECS ....

A. Eltham Choral Society Concert at Holy Trinity Church - Saturday 15th December 2018

Here are a few thoughts from Max on the Christmas Concert'.............

Hi ECS, thank you very much for a splendid concert on Saturday. The Handel was bright, agile (lifted by the instrumentalists) and tight (the t at the end of His Burden epitomised this) The semiquavers ended up being rather good. The band thought you sounded great.

The Bach was a great success, enhanced especially by the trumpets and the horn sound on Andrew's keyboard. Thank you for 'going with it' in the rehearsal process when at times the music seemed chorally sparse and incoherent.

Saturday made me think that we will be able to give an excellent and moving performance of St John Passion in Spring 2020. I am looking forward to planning with Rose Ballantyne (at Blackheath Halls) in January.

Thank you for putting up with my being late to the rehearsal and sorry again.

I am looking forward to sharing the charm and elegance of Mozart and Haydn with you next term. Do you have friends, for whom singing could be a New Year's Resolution? Wonderful if so.

In the meantime, I hope you have a happy and relaxing Christmas.


B. Eltham Choral Society Concert Tour 2018

The tenth Eltham Choral Society concert tour to Lisbon took place from Tuesday 29th May to Friday 1st June 2018

It was a very successful and enjoyable tour with concerts at Sao Vincente de Fora, Lisbon (30th at 7pm) and Basílica dos Mártires, Lisbon (31st at 4pm)

An excursion was arranged to the Unesco World Heritage sites of the Belém Tower, the Monument to the Discoveries and the Jeronimos Monastery and many of us visited the the hilltop fortifications of Castelo de São Jorge with its spectacular views across Lisbon.

You can find a few pictures of the event in our picture gallery

C. Eltham Choral Society Concert at Southwark Cathedral - Saturday 17th March 2018

Those that braved the weather on Saturday had a most enjoyable afternoon and evening of music. Max had the following thoughts…..

Thank you all for your superb contribution to Saturday’s concert. In the afternoon you were highly engaged and alert, allowing a potentially tricky rehearsal to proceed very smoothly. The sound was even better in performance, with exquisitely beautiful singing in the Agnus Dei, impressive ensemble in the Sanctus (and the Libera recitation) great emotion and drama in the Dies Irae, and all along exceptionally committed singing. Alongside an excellent orchestra and stellar soloists, many people felt the choir stole the show. I wish you could all have heard it from where I was - I think you would have been amazed!.


You can find a few pictures of the event in our picture gallery


Past Concert reviews

....... What the Press had to say about some of our past concerts ....

Eltham Choral Society Reviews


Review from the SEnine Click for Full Report


Review from the The Kentish Times, July 6th 2001

Choral society works wonders.

Amateur and professional community-based choirs around the country add a great deal to our cultural and social heritage. But for many the problem of finding enough singers to maintain an acceptable balance between the male and female voices is a constant battle. I could only wonder how Eltham Choral Society still manages to perform demanding works with such professionalism and beautifully rich sounds and harmonies when I heard its recent concert at Holy Trinity Church.

For 25 years the choir was conducted by Miriam Coe and her influence was remarkable. Now a new conductor has been appointed: Nicholas Jenkins has an excellent musical pedigree and is a fluent, expressive conductor.

The main work of the evening was Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, a theatrical, musically inventive, and a darkly passionate musical evocation of 13th Century secular poems. Untouched by religious overtones, they can be simply described as a celebration of ribald encounters with wine, women and song. Very difficult to conduct and sing, this was an outstanding performance. Disciplined throughout, the choir handled the work with passion and great drama. The conductor kept supreme control, the percussion excelled and the soloists, Rebecca Bottone (soprano), Mark Milhofer (tenor) and Mark Chaundy (baritone) sang with great professionalism. Mark Milhofer's handling of the strange mixture of tenor and alto pitches in his own very short solo section was a triumph of expressive creativity.The musical accompaniment was provided by pianists Tony Baldwin and David Battersby and a five-strong percussion section.

The concert opened with Bach's popular Brandenburg Concerto No.2. Without any real reflection on the pianists, the arrangement made a travesty of the work. However, the piano accompaniment for two of Verdi's choral works was excellent and the choir particularly excelled in the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco.

Roy Atterbury


Review from the Kentish Times, 9th November 2000

A concert in the Chapel of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich attracted a near capacity audience for what was very much a celebration of local culture.

The Eltham Choral Society was joined by the Ascension Choir from Blackheath, the children's choir from St Ursula's Convent School in Greenwich and the Kidbrooke School's Choirs in a performance of Michael Tippett's oratorio A Child of Our Time. The orchestra was the Music Sinfonia of Trinity College, an institution shortly to take up residence at the Royal Naval College

While Tippett's work has sometimes been criticised for Socialist overtones, it remains a most powerful musical denouncement of racial intolerance. The negro spirituals used in the piece to underscore the torment of oppressed races are not only a highly moving element of the oratorio, they are an acknowledgement by the composer that nothing he could compose would match the simplicity and beauty of their melodies and words.

Under their conductor, Miriam Coe, (musical director of the Eltham Choral Society), the choir gave a performance that fully captured the complex mixture of hatred, passion and disquiet that is inherent in the oratorio.

The soloists, Mary Seers, Patricia Williams and John Bowley and the impressive narrator, Brindley Sherratt, added further quality to the memorable occasion.

The concert opened with Andrew Morely conducting the two popular works by Aaron Copland. The Fanfare for the Common Man provided an ideal opportunity for the brass section of the Sinfonia to show off its skills to great effect while the orchestral ballet suite Appalachian Spring was played with warmth, colour and vitality.

The concert was supported by Greenwich Council and the New Millennium Experience Company as part of the Time to Celebrate events

Roy Atterbury


An Autumn concert visit to Felpham near Bognor was enjoyed by all who went. The following review appeared in the parish magazine:

Saturday 26th September was a damp, miserable day, but for those of us who attended the Eltham Choral Society concert in St. Mary's, the event was enough to wipe away the memories of those leaden skies.

The church provided a warm and inviting backdrop as the choir started their programme with the first half, a well balanced mixture of music and readings, old and modern, on an autumn theme. The music ranged from Handel, Mozart, Purcell and Vaughan-Williams to modern composers Maxwell-Davies, Jenkins and Taverner. The readings from Keats and Betjeman were well chosen and complemented the music perfectly.

The second half consisted of a hastily rehearsed recital of Faure's Requiem as the original programme included Vivaldi's Gloria which is due to be performed next month by our own choirs. Unphased by this, the Society showed their professionalism and talent by delivering a stunning performance of the piece that on its first hearing had been thought to be "too lively" for a requiem.

Shelagh Eastwood whose clarity and range filled the vaulted ceilings and lifted the spirits, performed the soprano solo, Pie Jesu. The organist, Tony Baldwin, showed us new heights with his accomplished playing, never masking the singing, only complementing it.

Miriam Coe, the musical director, joined the Society 23 years ago to escape the tribulations of 2-year-old toddlers. As she led us through the programme, her enthusiasm and vitality focused the eyes and ears of both choir and audience,

Comments following the performance were full of praise. Hopefully we will be able to arrange a return visit so those who missed this stunning evening can have a second chance to enjoy the Eltham Choral Society.

Robert Baker


Review from the The Kentish Times, April 9th 1998

Society May Have Hit the Ton

Last Saturday the Eltham Choral society's 90th Anniversary Concert at Holy Trinity Church was not quite the occasion I expected.

It was certainly the 90th anniversary of the Society's first performance of Haydn's the Creation which took place at the same church in Southend Crescent, on April 27, 1908. However, a subsequent review of the concert in the Times of the day made it clear the choir was already well established in the community. Indeed, an earlier report refers to the ECS performing at Eynsford in 1907. In the absence of any other historical records, therefore, this latest event could well have been a celebration of the choir's 100th anniversary which would have given the event greater importance. There is obviously no way of comparing the quality of the 1908 and 1998 ensembles but there is no doubt that the present choir is of an exceptional standard and, with almost 70 singers, it brought great passion and a supremely delicate lyricism to Haydn's work.


The musical director of the ECS is Miriam Coe who conducts without a baton but uses restrained yet commandingly delicate hand movements to coax some inspired reactions from both the choir and the orchestra. The rising phrase in the last section of the second part was an object lesson in choral discipline as well as purity of sound. The 35-strong orchestra was bolstered by a fine organist in Tony Baldwin who is also assistant musical director of the choir. He not only provided a further depth to the orchestral playing but never once allowed his potentially powerful instrument to conflict with the perfect balance that was maintained overall.

In Susan Hendrie (soprano), Alan Jolly (tenor) and Paul Keohane (bass baritone), the society had brought together singers with great expressive skills who blended perfectly in the duets and trios. I was fascinated by Alan Jolly's tenor voice that had a gentleness and expression which had an odd affinity to the pure alto - but clearly in effect rather than pitch.

Haydn's work is not only great choral music, it is also fascinating in the way it heralds a new area of music. Written when the composer was at his zenith at 61, there are times when the brilliance of Mozart and the romanticism of Brahms, Beethoven and others are reflected in an orchestral approach which then slips almost into a near chamber mode. Seventeenth and 18th century music all seem to come together and the interpretative skills brought to this fascinating range of contrasts by all concerned made the concert an event to remember.

Roy Atterbury


Other Choirs and Organisations

....... News of events and activities of other choirs and organisations of interest to members ....

Item - EXPIRES: Saturday, 9th March 2019

An Evening of Bach and Walton

Blackheath Halls Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Christopher Stark and Nicholas Jenkins at Blackheath Halls, 23 Lee Road, Blackheath, SE3 9RQ Saturday, 9th March 2019, Time: 7.30pm


JS Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (arr. Leopold Stokowski)
JS Bach: Sleeper Wake (arr. Percy Grainger)
JS Bach: Sheep May Safely Graze (arr. William Walton)
William Walton: Belshazzar’s Feast

£16 | £14 conc. | £6 under 12s

Box Office: +44 (0)20 8463 0100 or e-mail

For further details or to book on-line consult....Blackheath Halls' website

Blackheath Halls Orchestra and Chorus serve up a musical feast featuring a trilogy from Bach and Walton’s most celebrated composition Belshazzar’s Feast all under the experienced batons of Christopher Stark and Nicholas Jenkins.

Or... why not come and join Blackheath Halls Chorus to sing this wonderful piece from the choral repertoire, William Walton's Belshazzar's Feast. Nicholas Jenkins makes a welcome return to South East London to lead this project. Come and take the opportunity to perform in a large choir in our fabulous new Great Hall space. All are welcome from beginners to seasoned singers.Rehearsals Wednesday evening starting 9th January

More information on Blackheath Halls Chorus, fee and enrolment details can be found on ....Blackheath Halls' website

Item - EXPIRES: Tuesday 31 January 2018

Blackheath Music

Blackheath Music Appreciation Group meets on Monday mornings from 10 to 12 midday to listen to illustrated lectures on classical music given by Matthew Taylor who is a composer, conductor and pianist

Our home has for some twenty five years been at Blackheath Halls and we have also used Charlton House. Each term there is a chosen subject as you may see on Past Times on our website. The chosen subject for each term is usually a composer or group of composers e.g Beethoven or Schubert or the French Impressionists. Other times it is a theme. This coming term, starting on 7th January the subject is music by various composers inspired by Shakespeare. See our poster attached.

The form is one of background history and illustration at the piano, then to be followed by discs of the music. Musical training is not required and the lectures are suitable for beginners or music fans alike. It is for lovers of classical music and for those who want to know more, alike. The lectures are for two hours with usually ten lectures per term and three terms a year. There is a cost, £11 per lecture or a reduced fee for the term which most pay. We invite newcomers to come along for a taster without any charge.

I want to assure everyone that this is not a hard sell. It is for those who wish to take advantage of what is on offer and have something to lighten up Monday mornings to look forward to.

Just turn up on the day or contact Lionel J Lewis.

For further details consult....Blackheath Music's website